Arts & Letters Prizes

20th Annual Arts & Letters Prize Judges Announced

2018 Prize Judges

Poetry: Alfred Corn

Alfred Corn is the author Unions, his eleventh collection of poetry; he has also authored two novels, two collections of essays, and a study of prosody. His work as a poet has brought him a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, and awards in literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters and the Academy of American Poets. He has taught at Yale, Columbia, and UCLA, and has twice been a Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, UK.

Creative Nonfiction: Joni Tevis

Joni Tevis is the author of two books of essays, The Wet Collection: A Field Guide to Iridescence and Memory, and The World Is On Fire: Scrap, Treasure, and Songs of Apocalypse, both published by Milkweed Editions. Her essays have appeared in Orion, Oxford American, Poets & Writers, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and elsewhere. She serves as the Bennette E. Geer Professor of Literature at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

Fiction: Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard is the author of A Solemn Pleasure, a book of essays, released in 2015. She has also published seven novels, two short story collections, and a biography. Her novel The Odditorium was an ALA “Over the Rainbow” top LGBT selection. Pritchard’s many honors and awards include the Flannery O’Connor Award, multiple Pushcart and O. Henry Prizes, and fellowships and grants from the NEA and other organizations. Her work as journalist was recognized in the Atlantic Monthly’s 2013 Best of Journalism Awards, and as a journalist, she has traveled to Afghanistan, India, Ecuador and Ethiopia. In 2009, she established the Ashton Goodman Fund, working with the Afghan Women’s Writing Project to provide funding for the literacy and education of Afghan women and girls.

Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction Winners will appear in next year’s Fall or Spring issue of Arts & Letters.

Drama: Iona Sun
The Drama Prize winner will attend the production of the prize-winning one-act play at the Georgia College campus (usually in March).


About the Prizes
For our prizes in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, we offer the winner a $1,000 prize and publication in the next year’s Fall or Spring issue. The prize-winning one-act play winner receives a $500 prize and travel support to attend the prize play production at the Georgia College campus (usually in March.) Our prizes are made possible through generous gifts to our prize endowments from Dr. Martin Lammon, Dr. Barry Darugar, Bahram and Fari Atefat, and other friends of Arts & Letters. If you are interested in contributing to our endowments, please contact us!

All submitters receive a digital subscription of Arts & Letters, which will include the issue prize winners are published in.

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction:

Submit a manuscript of up to 25 pages, typed, double-spaced

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction:

Submit a manuscript of up to 25 pages, typed, double-spaced

Rumi Prize for Poetry:

Submit a manuscript of up to 4 poems, typed, single-spaced (poems need not be thematically linked, though it is fine if they are)


Submit a one-act play of 30-60 pages, typed in standard stage play format

Please do not include your name on any part of the uploaded file you submit to any genre.  We accept most file formats (Word, .rtf, PDF).

We prefer, for the prizes, that your work not be simultaneously submitted. This helps us preserve the integrity of the contest(s). Our judges’ decisions are usually made by the end of May.

All fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction prize submissions will be considered for publication at regular payment rates.

All writers and poets writing in English are eligible to enter, excepting friends, relatives, or current and former students of the current-year judges.

The submission period for our annual prizes is February 1 – March 31. The entry fee is $20 ($10 for the one-act drama prize).

All submissions are through our Submittable site:




19th Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners

Rumi Prize for Poetry
Judge: Richard Garcia
WINNER: George Looney, for poems after photographs by Walker Evans
Keith Wilson
Jennie Malboeuf
Lucas Jacob
Richard Widerkehr
Kateri Kosek
Samuel Piccone
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
Patricia Colleen Murphy

Fiction Prize
Judge: Amy Hassinger
WINNER: Leslie Campbell, for “The Tasmanians”
Wes Civilz
Stephen Hundley
Sarah Earle Záhořík

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Judge: Sonja Livingston
WINNER: Courtney Zoffness, for “It May All End in Aleppo”
Margaret MacInnis
David Rompf
Elizabeth Mosier
Kelly Bowen
Barbara Tran

Drama Prize
Judge: Iona Sun
WINNER: Marc Aronoff, for “The Lantern Bearers”
Cary Pepper
Robert Daseler
Rachel Joseph
Joseph Eastburn
Mark Fink
Kristin Hanratty

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